ArcGIS Pro: Allow connection to .sde files in folders

06-21-2017 03:26 PM
Status: Closed
Labels (1)
New Contributor II

Can you please allow me to connect to SDE connection files while they are in folders and not added to the Project?  Or at very least can you allow folders inside the Databases container in a project?  

I have hundreds of .sde connection files for different schema's and I can't find a way to organize them in ArcGIS Pro.


Project Favorites are now in Pro 2.0 (to be released this week).

This will make it much easier for you to manage your connections.


I just downloaded and installed 2.0 and favorites don't really help.  You can't connect to the SDE connection file in the favorites tab.  If any item has the same name as another item, you can't tell them apart.  You also can't organize your favorites into folders to organize them. There is no tag and search function ether.  So with no tag and search or no folder based organization, there is no way to organize or recognise anything you put in there.  

Also the text in the tooltip that pops up is not selectable.  So if you save a folder to your favorites, then you can to get the path for that folder, you can't just copy it out of the tool tip.

Also my first favorite is a sde connection file and I can't remove it from my favorites.  Check this out, I can't remove that item:

It's like if the item is in the 0 index position you can't interact with it.


Hi Judson, I was reviewing another Idea that has gotten some attention recently (ArcGIS Pro 2.0 + SDE Connections in Favorites‌) and it caused me to come back to this one.  I reverted the status to Reviewed for the idea of allowing to make an SDE connection to a database directly from a folder, without adding the connection to a project.  However, please visit and review that idea and provide additional details in the Comments as I think working on that Idea might help with your work.

For some of the other concerns you mention above, there is the ability to Rename items in your Favorites collection, and you can drag and drop them to help a bit with their organization (I understand that doesn't provide full tag, search and organization capabilities, but it could help a little). To understand how the Favorites work, you can open the Favorites.json file located in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\ArcGISPro\Favorites  A text editor like Notepad ++ works well to view the file.

Finally, as for being able to copy the path for an Item from the Catalog pane, please see

Thank you!

Status changed to: Closed

The capability of expanding an sde connection under a folder (and use it directly under a folder), in the project or in Favorites, has since been implemented, and has been in ArcGIS Pro for the past few releases.


Is it ever going to be possible to drop a Connection File here:

and then have them be visible within ArcGIS Pro's Favorites list?

This does not appear to work. I've also read some posts that indicate that manually updating the Favorites.json file in the exact same way that the ArcGISPro GUI does when a connection file is added through Pro also does not result in being able to see the .sde connection file under the Favorites tab within Pro.


@MattReeves I think what you're asking for specifically is here  ArcGIS Pro 2.0 + SDE Connections in Favorites - Esri Community  

Also, I wrote a blog last week to demo some key workflows to add database, server, and folder connections to favorites.  Migrate folder, database, and server connections from ArcGIS Desktop to ArcGIS Pro